Since originally publishing this article in 2012 we have gone on to pursue PIP breast implant claims on behalf of hundreds of women. We are currently bringling legal action in the French courts so if you are interested in making a PIP claim then please get in touch.
We review the Health Secretary’s announcement that the state will treat NHS victims of the PIP scandal and consider the prospects of victims recovering PIP implant compensation.
The Government’s Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley has confirmed the NHS will fund replacement implant operations for NHS patients fitted with PIP implants supplied by the disgraced French company, Poly Implant Prosthèses.
The news will be welcome relief to women in the UK who have been affected by the scandal. PIP used industrial grade silicone in its breast implants for over ten years and the regulatory authorities in France have been heavily criticised for failing to put a stop to the practice at an earlier stage. The company has gone into liquidation and thousands of women have been left worried and confused about where to turn now that they know the PIP implants are potentially damaging.
The news that woman treated under the NHS can have their PIP implants removed and replaced is reassuring. Although experts have been unable to agree that the PIP implants are dangerous, scientific evidence suggests they have a higher propensity to burst than medical grade fillers and the effect of leakage remains an unknown risk. In France PIP implants have also been linked with cancer. Given that patients need to be scanned to establish if there has been a leakage or rupture, the number of women suffering actual injury is impossible to calculate at this stage. This is no doubt why the Heath Secretary has made this important decision to pledge that the NHS will fund revision operations. Removing the PIP breast implants should ward off further medical complications due to leakage or rupture and limit potential legal action and PIP implants compensation claims.
The private cosmetic surgery sector is a different matter. Mr Lansley, in making his decision, hopes to put pressure on private clinics to follow suit: but he cannot force private companies to fund replacement breast implants. It is anticipated reputable companies such as Spire Healthcare will treat their clients for free. However, the cosmetic surgery industry is littered with small, poorly run clinics, many of which may have already ceased trading or will refuse to co-operate. Often UK women travel abroad for cosmetic surgery treatment to save money, which further complicates matters. Lansley has helpfully stated that the NHS will treat women who cannot gain help from their treating private clinic, if a medical need to do so arises.
The issue in many women’s minds is whether they are entitled to PIP implants compensation for the further and unnecessary medical procedure they now need to undergo. Many women paid extra for superior grade silicone so that they would never need to undergo replacement surgery and were then fitted with PIPs. As well as the distress and inconvenience of revision surgery, replacement, even under the most skilled plastic surgeon, can cause additional scarring and occasionally lead to complications.
We are also dealing with PIP compensation claims for women who have undergone a second breast implant procedure which has left them with lumpy and unnatural looking breasts necessitating a third operation to achieve a satisfactory outcome. She has already won compensation for negligent breast surgery victims in respect of the additional scarring and losses that these women have suffered.
Should you or a family member affected by the PIP breast implant scandal wish to discuss a potential legal PIP compensation claim on a FREE, no obligation basis, please contact us on freephone 0808 139 1592